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Northfield, Minnesota Bank Heist Nets Robbers $26.70-a fictional short story

Updated on May 31, 2015

Defeat of Jesse James Days

creative commons attributiom sharealike 2.0 generic Michael Hicks
creative commons attributiom sharealike 2.0 generic Michael Hicks | Source

Yah. I remember that day. It was seventh of September, 1878. How could I forget it? We all took a trip into town that day, Gustav Olson my Pa, my wife Jennifer and me all got in the wagon. We didn’t have any kids yet, but Jenny was in a family way and wanted to look at some of the new things for babies. It was Saturday and town folk were filling the stores to look around and just chew the fat. Folks like us living in the country were doing ‘bout the same thing, ‘cept we had to stock up because we can’t just get to the store everyday.

It’s a good town. We got two colleges Northfield College and St. Olaf College., the first National Bank. We also got wheat and lumber mills, so we are not just some little no account place.

Pa started our farm when he came to America from the old country. When Jenny and I got hitched he gave me a part of the farm to work for ourselves and helped us build a house. A bunch of neighbors pitched in too.

In Town

We took the road to the bridge into town. I saw a some riders gathered ‘bout a mile outside town. They din’t pay us no mind when we passed. We meandered down Division street and hitched our wagon outside the hardware store. It was getting on to lunchtime. It’s always a treat for Jenny to get to eat at a restaurant, so we went into the restaurant on Division which was right next to the hardware.. Me and Pa had steaks but Jenny bypassed the meat and went for a vegetable stew..

We took our time and I think it was about one o’clock when we finished up We were just leaving when three men came in and sat down at the counter. They looked like some of the riders we saw outside of town.

We were in the Lee & Hitchcock Dry goods store which was nest to the bank.. Jenny wanted to look at everything, even if we didn’t have no use for it. Well we must of spent ‘bout an hour there. Them three riders were sitting on crates in front of the store when we come out.

Seemed that these guys were acting strange. One of the others was just leaning against a post outside the bank smoking his pipe. Two or three others wandered over by the bridge and looked to be just loafing. A former governor of Mississippi, Adelbert Ames, lives here. One of the men recognized him and said “look, it’s the governor himself.” Well they must have been southerners because nobody here called him governor.


Mr. Allen who owned one of the gun stores and Henry Wheeler, a young medical student seemed to be suspicious of the guys loafing in fron of the bank. Allen went up to the bank but one of the strangers grabbed his arm stopping him from going in. After some words the stranger pushed him away from the bank.Allen broke into a run shouting that the bank was being robbed and get your guns. The stranger took a shot at Wheeler but missed.

Two of the outlaws got on their horses and rode up and down the street shooting in the air, at the ground and shouting The others by the bridge came riding in shouting and shooting.

We was by the hardware and gun store . Pa picked out a scattergun, I went for a Springfield rifle and darned if Jenny didn’t grab one like it. Out friends and neighbors were doing the same thing, coming up with weapons of all kinds and varieties. Division street was like a shooting gallery. I admit for all the firepower we probably didn’t hit all that much.

Sadly Nichols Gustavaon a young immigrant who didn’t know English got shot in the head, nobody knows where the shot came from.Likely an accidental shot.

One man rqn out to the bank with a grain sack ofver his shoulder. Shortly after two others ran out and mounted horses.

Two of the men, who we later found to be cole and Bob Younger had a close escape. When Bob ran out of the bank he found his horse had been shot and he was wounded while trying to hold out against the townspeople. As Charlie and Cole rode by, Bob came out of his hiding place.Cole went back for him but they were under fire. Bob was already severely wounded and the gunfire was focused on them now. A bullet hit Bob in the leg and another shot off Cole’s saddle horn and another severed his reins. Somehow he reached down and lifted Bob behind the saddle with him. Cole held the horse’s mane as they raced out of town.

As the gang left town people were throwing rocks and pitchforks at them.

The bank teller was killed and two gang members were killed. This was the ending of the James- Younger gang

For all of this the gang got away with $26.70.

© 2011 Don A. Hoglund


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    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks Wayne. I grew up in Minnesota and this incident is part of the folklore of the state.Northfield has a yearly reinactment of the incident.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      That's a hard way to make a livin' if you asked me, Don. I liked the way you wrote of a real incident from a fictional really puts the reader into the middle of the action. Thanks for sharing! ~WB

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I certainly appreciate the enthusiasm of your comment. I'll try to keep writing things that you and others like.

    • toknowinfo profile image


      7 years ago

      I loved the story, I love your creativity and I always look forward to what you will write next. Rated up and awesome.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks for reading and commenting.They certainly expected more.

    • Springboard profile image


      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Course, back then $26.70 may have bought a bit. Still...if I were to pull off such a stunt, I'd be looking for a loot grab worth way more than that. Even for the 1800s. Great yarn. Keep spinnin'm and I'll keep readin'm.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Wealthmadehealthy profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

      What an awesome story. Felt like I was there. Great hub.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It's been a long time since I've been to Northfield and it seems that it is part of the sprawling Twin Cities Metro Area now.

      I put a link to your Jesse James hub.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This was fun reading. I had an aunt that graduated from St. Olaf College many years ago! You put a lot of detail into your stories!

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thank you for the complimentary comment. I am glad you like them. I was a little hesitant to get into much fiction writing here, but have had some encouragement.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I just love your old west stories. I eel like I'm taking a step back in time.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      Thanks for the compliment.I was a little concerned if I could write a convincing speech pattern. I also thought that the history of this might be too well known.

      You might write a hub about the jewelry store being robbed.Maybe through the eyes of one of the characters you have portrayed elsewhere.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      Thanks for dropping in and leaving your comment.A pardon for Billy the Kid was in the mill but I forgot what came of it.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      I'm glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate your comments and encouragement.

    • 2patricias profile image


      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      A well written story - I particularly like the way you have told it with an accent - such as 'nest to the bank'.

      About 2 years ago a jewellery story in our nearest city was robbed. In a very modern twist many passers-by took photos of the robbers using their mobile phone cameras. Almost all the witnesses too the precaution of trying to hide and just stuck out their arms to take the photos (the robbers were armed) so the police had a lot of very blurry photos - but the robbers were caught!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love the simplicity of the tale-telling. Westerns are always fun to write, and read.

      Reminded me of the recent film "The Assassination of Billy the Kid by the Coward..." with Brad Pitt.

      These stories, especially when they take place in venues like Minnesota are unexpected and great fodder to add to the fuel of a legend. By the way, I think the governor of some state, Kansas(?), is going to pardon William Bonner in the near future.

      Villain turned civilian--lol--only in America. Good piece, daho.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Thanks for writing about this. I really enjoy the bank story. You always come up with great hub like this one. Good work, my friend. Vote up. Have a great day!


    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Not old enough to have been there.Thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      Sophia Angelique 

      8 years ago

      How old did you say you were? :)

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks for the encouraging comment. I was hoping to make a familiar story interesting.

    • Robwrite profile image


      8 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      I always like a good story with the Younger brothers in it. Nice work.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I was kind of wondering if a story taking place in Minnesota could be a Western.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image


      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      I enjoyed reading your story. It reminds me of the westerns my dad use to watch when i was growing up.


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